El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele announced the country would be placed under a 30-day quarantine on Saturday to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The central American nation of 6.4 million people has three confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins global tally, but has not recorded any deaths so far.
“From this evening, from today, we have decided to put a complete home quarantine in place on the entire country for 30 days,” Nayib Bukele said in a message on national TV channels.
Individuals who violate the quarantine would be arrested and transferred to a confinement center, he added.
Bukele said exceptions included people buying food — limited to one person per family — and some key industries.
Police, soldiers, journalists, and health workers can continue to travel to maintain medical care and the supply of basic products.
Public transport, banks, pharmacies and restaurants offering takeout will continue to operate, Bukele clarified.
On Friday, the mayor of the capital city San Salvador ordered 118 graves dug in preparation for virus deaths.